Monday, March 25, 2013

Making Easter Personal, by Kathy Howard

I’m not a knowledgeable gardener, but I do like to putter around in the yard. The beauty of God’s natural creation amazes me, especially in the spring. New life comes from death. The bare, brown trees begin to bud and then soon their green leaves are blowing in the breeze. And here in the moderate climate of West Texas even some of my “annuals” are reappearing.

Planting flowers and digging in the dirt always reminds me of the Creator. In addition to the obvious reason that God made it all, His natural world also gloriously demonstrates spiritual truth. For instance, every individual seed has potential for new life. One small seed can produce a multitude of other seeds. But first, the seed must die and be buried in the ground. Only through death is new life possible.

Just days before His arrest, Jesus used this very analogy to illustrate the purpose behind His own death. “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds (John 12:24).” Jesus’ death and burial provided new spiritual life for many. Jesus’ death was the payment our sins deserved. This “one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men (Romans 5:18).” Without His death we would still be dead in our sins. His death gave us life.

But Jesus’ death and burial did not complete His work of salvation. Jesus’ death paid the debt for sin, but the power to live a new life came through the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, sin and death no longer have power over Him. Jesus died once to sin and death. He cannot die again. These things have forever lost their mastery over Him (Romans 6:9-10).

Good Friday and Easter Sunday commemorate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Christians remember and celebrate what Jesus did to make our salvation possible. But have you experienced Easter personally? In the book of Romans, Paul said we must follow Jesus’ example. We, too, should experience death, burial, and resurrection.

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Or course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with Him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised as He was. Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share His new life.
Romans 6:1-8, NLT

Jesus’ death not only bought our eternal salvation. His resurrection provides us with the power to live victoriously in this life. We have no excuse to live as slaves to sin. Sin has no power over us. If we’ve died with Christ – surrendered our lives to Him – then we have been set free from sin’s power. We now have the power to live new lives, obediently following Jesus.

Jesus wants us to be like the seed. We die to ourselves – our own way, our own desires, our own will – so we can be raised to live a new life in Christ. Our life can then point others to the Giver of Life. Will you take Easter personally this year?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20, NIV

Written by Kathy Howard
Originally posted on

Kathy Howard helps women live an unshakeable faith for life by encouraging them to stand firm on our rock-solid God no matter the circumstances of life. Kathy, who has a Masters in Christians Education, has been teaching the Bible for over 25 years. Kathy served on a church staff in Midland, Texas for the five years until her family’s move to the Houston area. Kathy and her husband have three children, a son-in-law, and one precious grandbaby. Find out about her books and speaking ministry and get discipleship tools and leader helps at her website:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Making Preparations

My precious readers,

I'm in preparation right now for the North Carolina Pilgrimage retreat weekend. This will be the first time for me to attend this spiritual weekend of refreshment, and I'd appreciate your prayers. As I spend so much time ministering and counseling others, it is much-needed that I get re-fueled so that I can come back and do more of what God has called me to do. So with that in mind, I will hopefully be back on my writing schedule on Monday.

May I pray for you?

Father, I pray for each of my readers. Hold her close to Your heart Lord. If her heart is broken, mend it as only You can. Hold her benieth the shadow of Your wing. I ask for Your sweet peace and comfort. In Jesus Name, Amen

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Are You Making Comparisons?

For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord? (Psalm 89:6, NKJV)

I had to wage the war between my brain and Satan. As this verse clearly states, noone or nothing can be compared to the Lord. In the same way, we can't compare ourselves to others. I was comparing myself to another writer by saying that she was better than I. She has more experience than I do. While that's true that she does have more experience, through a dear friend I was reminded that God is using me in ways that I don't even realize. Ladies, are you comparing yourself to someone today? Let me encourage you, don't listen to the enemy's lies!!

Lord, thank You for friends that point us to the truth. Thank You Lord that we don't have to compare ourselves to anyone else. You give us the talent, let us use it the way You desire. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Anointing That Saved Her Life

 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (James 5:14, NKJV)

The phone rang, and the call would save her life. You see, my friend was about to take her own life. She thought that life wasn't worth living anymore. Her circumstances had so clouded her mind, that she had thoughts of ending it...and if not for the phone call, she would have done exactly that.


Jesus was poured back into my friend. Through the anointing of oil, my friend was brought back to full life. What situation in your life seems so hopeless that you've throught of ending it. Maybe not ending it with pills or a gun, but ending it with God. You've thought of walking away, and if not for dear friends, you would've done exactly that. Let me encourage you, don't give up.

Father, thank You for your fresh manna. Thank You for bringing us back when we feel likeup. Please help my reader see that she has life...the best life in You. Amen. giving    

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Who Are You?

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9, NKJV)

Over the last few weeks, I've struggled to know who I am. Because of some circumstances, I've felt like I have no value. I've felt as though my relationships mean nothing, that I'm not even worth having as a friend. But through some dear friends reassurances and through my Jesus, I've realized all those things are lies from the enemy. I do have worth. I do have value. You know what ladies? This verse tells me that I'm a royal daughter of the King. Not only am I royalty, I'm set apart. Because I'm all those things, I'm to praise Him for bringing me out of the darkness into His light. Do you feel devalued today? Do you feel like you're worthless? Let me say, you're not devalued. You're not worthless.

Father, thank You for giving us our worth. Thank You for letting us know that our value isn't in people; it's in You. Lord we love You and we praise You. Amen.